NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Friday that as part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat’s campaign, or a stand-alone campaign in India, the country’s goal is to end its reliance on imports of all equipment, including solar panels.
Modi dedicated the 750-megawatt (MW) solar project in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, to the nation, saying India can only achieve its full solar energy potential if the country does not develop better solar module, battery and storage production capabilities.
This is gaining in importance as green power projects now account for more than a fifth of the power generation capacity installed in India. India has 34.6 gigawatts (GW) of solar power with the goal of reaching 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.
The rapidly growing domestic solar component market is dominated by Chinese companies because of its competitive prices. India imported solar photovoltaic cells, modules and modules worth US $ 2.16 billion in the 2018-19 period.
Modi said several steps are being taken to increase domestic production, and it has been decided that government departments and institutions will only buy domestically made solar cells and modules.
India is working on a more comprehensive decoupling of the energy sector from China. New Delhi plans to enforce a list of approved manufacturers for government-sponsored clean energy programs, including projects where power distribution companies join states to source power to meet their consumers’ needs.
The surge in imports prompted the government of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in its previous tenure to impose a protective tariff on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia in July from July 30, 2018. After that, a basic tariff (BCD) was introduced for all imported solar cells, modules and inverters, which makes imports from China more expensive.
Going forward, India plans to introduce additional tariff and non-tariff barriers to the control of imports from China as part of its economic strategy amid tensions along the India-China border. One example of this is India’s plan to impose BCD on wafers and bars used in the manufacture of solar cells and modules.
Modi said for an Atma Nirbhar Bharat that dependence on electricity is very important.
India is developing a strategy of avoiding Chinese equipment and technology in the energy sector and is subsidizing funding to encourage the use of local electricity facilities and pre-authorization requirements for imports from countries with which it is in conflict. The plan also includes on-site procurement of equipment and supplies and increasing domestic capacity.
India is among the five countries in the world in terms of solar energy production, Modi said, adding that this form of energy supply is “safe, pure and secure”.
India has become one of the world’s leading producers of renewable energy and is planning ambitious capacity expansion plans as part of its climate protection commitments to reach 175 GW by 2022 and 500 GW by 2030. This has strengthened India’s image as a clean energy champion at a time when the world is grappling with climate change concerns.
Modi also said that India is the most attractive market for clean energy and is seen as a model for the transition to clean energy.
India’s solar power tariffs reached a record low of £2.36 per unit during a bid by the state-owned Solar Energy Corporation of India Ltd. (SECI) last week. The auctions were dominated by foreign companies, with the lowest bid from Spain’s Solarpack Corporación Tecnológica, SA, followed by Italy’s Enel Group, Canada’s AMP Solar Group, France’s EDEN Renewables and Ib Vogt Singapore Pte Ltd. with the second lowest tariff offer of 2.37 per kilowatt hour (kWh). CDC Group-backed Ayana Renewable Power and Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power made the third lowest bid of Rs 2.37 per unit. The previously recorded lowest solar bid was from £2.44 per unit in May 2017.
“Today Rewa actually made history,” said Modi.
In an area of 1,590 hectares, the Rewa solar park has settled the debate about competitive tariffs from green energy sources in India by achieving a record low of 2.97 rupees per unit in the country through intelligent risk sharing.
By overcoming the parity barrier of the power grid in February 2017, it became clear that solar energy is no longer a green fad, but is fundamentally changing the Indian energy mix.
Modi also spoke about India’s global power grid plan – “One Sun One World One Grid” – which aims to transfer solar power generated in one region to meet the electricity needs of others, and India’s goal of becoming an electricity exporter.
India’s global network plans have gained momentum amid China’s attempt to attract countries to its ambitious One Belt One Road initiative, which aims to invest billions of dollars in infrastructure projects such as railways, ports and power grids in Asia, Africa and Europe. and the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.
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